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an enemy combatant are those republicans, among them john mccain and lindsey graham. but there's others, they say basically he should be treated as an enemy combatant for now and then handed over to civilian authorities. the information we're learning about his inability to communicate right now throws a wrench into a lot of that. but on the other side, we heard today from the chairman of the intelligence committee of the house, mike rogers, and here is his perspective on why he should not be treated like an enemy combatant. >> he's a citizen of the united states. i think that brings all of the protections of the u.s. constitution. under the public safety exception, however, i do believe that the fbi has a period of time to try to determine what threats are there today. we don't know if there's other devices. we don't know if there's other people. i think mirandizing him up front would be a horrible idea. >> so there are really a series of questions there. first, should he be treated as a criminal -- excuse me, as a -- i want to make sure i get it right, as an enemy combatant. that ques
senator lindsey graham, specifically from senator john mccain for the suspect to be treated as an enemy combatant. how is legal action at this point most likely to move forward? >> reporter: well, the obama administration would never go for that, partly as a policy matter. they have made it quite clear that civilian courts are up to the task and they think in many ways better than military tribunals which are untested. civilian courts have convicted lots of terrorism defendants. it will be a federal case. they'll charge him withes with use of a weapons of mass destruction. the maximum penalty is the death penalty. the government will have to decide whether to seek that or not. there's an additional wrinkle here. he is an american citizen. he was a naturalized citizen last year oddly on 9/11 of last year, and there is an open legal question about whether even if the government wanted to, it could declare an american citizen captured on u.s. soil as an enemy combatant. it's an untested question. the government tried to do it in the case of jose padilla several years ago and as that case w
president obama is calling it terror. lindsey graham sweet twooetieet telling him to remain silent. that would be the last thing. somehow terrorism makes it fine, right? >> we don't really know if this is terrorism. we don't know if there's political motivations. >> we don't know. we have to establish the definition of terror. everybody was terrorized. the political definition is something else. secondly, john ralston said imagine if you're the person subjected to the recriminations you want to put forth. be very careful if something happens in your family and your kid does something and your kid is on the terror list and the no-fly list, that's a different kettle of fish. it's unfamiliar evil versus familiar evil. when you made the point about we've incubated in our own culture a homegrown terrorist, that strikes terror at the heart of america. guess what? hey, ask the minority people, we're familiar with homegrown domestic terrorists. those ain't muslim, they're christian and twisting the cross and doing things. we have to be very careful about assuming that immediately this was
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